Forgotten Dog's Christmas

      'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
      Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse
      The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
      In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there

      The children were nestled all snug in their beds
      With no thought of the dog filling their head
      And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap
      Knew he was cold, but didn't care about that

      When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
      I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter
      Away to the window I flew like a flash
      Figuring the dog was free of his chain and into the trash

      The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
      Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below
      When, what to my wondering eyes should appear
      But Santa Claus - with eyes full of tears

      He un-chained the dog, once so lively and quick
      Last year's Christmas present, now painfully thin and sick
      More rapid than eagles he called the dog's name
      And the dog ran to him, despite all his pain

      "Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
      On, COMET! on CUPID! on, DONNER and BLITZEN!
      To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
      Let's find this dog a home where he'll be loved by all."

      I knew in an instant there would be no gifts this year
      For Santa Claus had made one thing quite clear
      The gift of a dog is not just for the season
      We had gotten the pup for all the wrong reasons

      In our haste to think of the kids a gift
      There was one important thing that we missed
      A dog should be family, and cared for the same
      You don't give a gift, then put it on a chain

      And I heard him exclaim as he rode out of sight
      "You weren't given a gift! You were given a LIFE!"
[ Author Unknown -- from Mark, via 'Nancy Cantafio' ( ]

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